Qualitative Reliability, Validity, and Generalizability

As I am continuing to develop my idea that I published yesterday, Research Design: Communities of Practice for Autoethnographers, I want to clarify one of the issues that some of my wonderful colleagues commented about, namely the issue of Reliability, Validity, and Generalizability.

While I used those terms in that area based on Creswell’s Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches work (pg. 190), I put it there primarily as a place-holder so those in my program who will offer me some comments on it will know that I will, in some way, address it. What I actually had in mind was Lincoln and Guba’s Naturalistic Inquiry, where they give 4 areas of concern for qualitative Trustworthiness:

  1. “Truth value”
  2. Applicability
  3. Consistency
  4. Neutrality

These four were offered to address the quantitative internal validity, external validity, reliability, and objectivity.

I will address these as I engage with my research, and share aspects of them here.